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File:Totally-spies-the-movie 5125.jpg


Totally Spies! (2001-) is an animated show produced by French company Marathon Media. Three action girls -- Alex, Clover and Sam (two tomboyish names out of three) -- are (totally) spies (and also ordinary high school students) working for WOOHP, the World Organization Of Human Protection. In each episode, the girls battle the plans of some variety of Mad Scientist or Super Villain with an axe to grind while also dealing with their personal lives (including their collective high school rival Mandy). Like Kim Possible, Totally Spies! mines both spy and teen clichés, though Kim Possible was the only show to end a season on a Cliff Hanger.

Totally Spies! is notable for being one of the first Western-made animated series to employ selected Japanese Visual Arts Tropes, such as Cross-Popping Veins and The Sweat Drop, under the assumption viewers were already familiar with them (as opposed to employing them to evoke the anime style, a la Teen Titans).

The show is also notable for being a treasure trove of Author Appeal; each episode was seemingly dedicated to at least one different type of fetishes. Each of the three spies has their own specialty: Clover is the designated hostage and is frequently a victim of various transformations, Alex has freakishly bad luck, and Sam will often be Brainwashed. At times, Jerry also seems to take a little too much joy in tossing the girls into dangerous situations.

In short: Charlie's Angels meets Sailor Moon with more Fetish Fuel than either of those shows ever had.

The show totally received a movie, as well as a Spin-Off (The Amazing Spiez).


Totally Spies! provides examples of: Edit

  • Abridged Series: Kinda, at least a long running series of rather unsuited for kids captioned pictures is found on shoujoai.com.
  • Action Dress Rip: They do this a lot when wearing long skirts.
  • Aliens Speaking English: But they're actually better at French.
  • Alpha Bitch: Mandy. Her cousin Mindy as well, but it takes five seasons for her to show up.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Japan uses a different anime-styled theme song.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too: Literally said by Geraldine when she attacked Jerry and a stray puppy Alex found.
  • Angels Pose
  • Animated Series
  • Animesque
  • Art Evolution: Very noticeable from about Season 3 onward (like how the girls -- and everyone else -- finally got belly buttons to go with their assortment of Bare Your Midriff outfits).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Mandy
  • Bare Your Midriff: They're teenage girls from Beverly Hills. Do we really need to explain this one?
  • The Baroness: Rosa Klebb type.
  • Between My Legs: Shows up fairly often in the show, usually of the girls (or Jerry).
  • Black Screen of Death: Used just about every time the girls are attacked.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Mandy's cousin Mindy.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity
  • Bound and Gagged
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happens to Sam more often than not.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At least once. In the beginning of the series finale, the girls ask the viewer to wish them luck in their coming adventure.
  • Breast Expansion: In one episode, Alex takes a muscle-enhancement drug to defeat a villain, which also causes her breasts to visibly grow several times larger (Although at one point she did appear to have a completely masculine chest). Some also point out that the Art Evolution made the girls "powers" more obvious too (considering how fanservicey the show is... quite probable).
  • Buffy-Speak
  • Butt Monkey: Clover, and Alex sometimes.
  • Cain and Abel: Jerry and Terence.
  • California University
  • Canon Dis Continuity: The movie has glaring continuity errors, including but not necessarily limited to Jerry's office being the second version, the appearance of "The Groove" instead of the Beverly Hills Mall, and the girls' compowders being the later "X-powders" instead of original ones, all from the third season onwards. Given what kind of show this is, this may or may not also be an example of Broad Strokes or They Just Didn't Care.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Hoo boy. Many of the guys the girls face off against demonstrate this. Especially Terence ("Evil leaders first!").
  • Channel Hop: Started off on ABC Family for its first season, then showed up out of the blue on Cartoon Network for the rest of the series.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The entire series.
    • Give the spies a hairdryer and they'll save the world with it. Sometimes because it shoots tornadoes.
    • Occasionally subverted, because they don't always use every gadget they're given in an episode. Although sometimes, there's a Plot Tailored to the Party just to make sure they do.
    • Also lampshaded in one episode, where Sam mentions they never needed the Laser Nail File, and right after that Clover breaks a nail.
  • Cliff Hanger
  • Clip Show: "The Elevator", "So Totally Not Groove-y".
  • Clothing Damage: Plenty. The first episode, for starters. And "Wild Style", where Clover got turned into a furry female Humanoid Animal.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience
  • Combat Stilettos
  • Conspicuous Consumption
  • Cool Plane: The monstrously large and luxurious Bling Jet plane from "Evil Airline Much?".
  • Corrupt the Cutie: This happens to Clover's intern, Tara, due to Clover's influence. She's not seen recovering.
  • Crazy Prepared: Before most missions Jerry gives the spies a bunch of random gadgets that he could not have foreseen being useful, but somehow they all are.
  • Credits Montage: Seasons 1 and 2 only. Season 3 featured Sam talking to the viewer (see The Tag).
  • Crossover: With Martin Mystery, one of their other shows.
  • Cross-Popping Veins
  • Death Trap: "This machine will forcefeed you cookies until you explode!"
  • Demon Head: Happens to Sam and Martin Mystery in episode "Totally Mystery Much?"
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Used as a background gag as a couple of guys walk into each other due to being focused on Sam.
  • Distressed Dude: Counting this show and The Amazing Spiez spin-off, Blaine and Dean both get their fair share of scenes where they end up bound and gagged.
  • Dueling Shows: Started around the time Kim Possible did.
  • E=MC Hammer: The Movie has a lot of issues.
  • Embarrassing Slide: In the episode "Shrinking", Jerry shows the Spies footage of various landmarks being shrunken and stolen around the world. In-between, however, is a clip of himself waterskiing and waving to the camera, to which Jerry reacts in the expected way.
  • Enemy Mime: "Jazz Hands".
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending
  • Expy:
    • Marco Lumière is basically a (more) unhinged version of Tim Burton.
      • This may also be a bit of the creators actually DOING the research, as the Lumière Brothers were the inventors of film over in France.
    • And Jerry strongly, strongly resembles Batman's butler Alfred Pennyworth as he appears in many comics depictions, particularly during the 70's -- present (despite being more in the Bunny Ears Lawyer side at times).
  • Fail O'Suckyname: League Aiming to Menace and Overthrow Spies (L.A.M.O.S.)
  • Fan Service: Being a kid's show, the fanservice here is pretty mild. Nonetheless, the spies wear skin-tight uniforms and there are occasionally shots which emphasize their attributes, such as in "It's How You Play the Game" when the camera is stuck on Alex's and Sam's hinders as they crawl across the ice.
  • Fantastic Voyage Plot: In "The Yuck Factor", the Spies fought a trio of villains who tried to take over WOOHP from inside Jerry's brain.
  • Fiction 500: If not the girls, then at least the mother of the rival of the protagonists, who in one episode, buys an entire international chain of high-class boutique shoe stores in order to gain the last instance of a limited edition pair of boots.
  • Film Felons: At least once. Marco Lumière justifies this in being a batshit insane filmmaker.
  • First-Name Basis: We never get to know most of the characters' surnames.
  • Five-Bad Band: In later episodes.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: What happens when Britney joins the team.
  • Furry Fandom: Clover turning into a furry cat, not to mention all the other walking, talking, human animals in the episode "Animal World", could trigger this.
  • Future Spandex
  • Genre Blindness: Sadly rampant.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: As well as the obvious... uh... visual stuff there's a boy band called "Teensicle" in one episode.
  • Gratuitous French: Clover has a habit of doing this, if only for the style. One episode reveals that, at most, her knowledge of French is pretty basic: she and Alex find an uncannily handsome pool cleaner guy who only speaks French. Everytime he speaks, the girls get lulled about him (after all, Everything Sounds Sexier in French), but it's only with Jerry translating for them at the end that they know: all that he was talking about was the quality of the water in the swimming pool, and all that stuff (therefore, too technical for just Gratuitous French). Luckily enough for them, he had already switched to work for Mandy, whose comprehension of the language was about in the same level.
  • Groundhog Day Loop: The premise around Season 4's "Déjà Cruise".
  • "Growing Muscles" Sequence: In "The Incredible Bulk", the villain's plot revolves around health snacks that bulk up rival bodybuilders to the point their bodies explode.
  • Heart Symbol: Commonly seen floating around the girls (or in their eyes) when they locate the Boyfriend of the Week. And sometimes around each other too.
  • Highly Visible Spies: On their missions, the girls wear neon bright jumpsuits (even if they don't actually need to) and rarely make any attempt to hide or disguise their identities. Actual sneaking around, while not uncommon, happens about as often as barging headfirst into any objective. They aren't really spies in the traditional sense; it's more of a case of Not Wearing Tights.
    Many episodes have them going undercover at whatever location they're investigating wearing clothes that fit the location and rarely, fake credentials if they can't get in by walking though the front door. They never actually hide their identiy and often use their real first names as part of whatever fake identity they're using. It's only later once they break in to snoop around or after their cover is blown do they wear the highly visible suits.
  • Hot Mom:
    • One episode involves Tim luring the girls and their moms to a resort where he brainwashes the moms into offing them. With Clover and Alex's moms spending most of the episode in their bathing suits. If memory serves it culminates in a Mama Bear moment where the moms actually beat the crap out of Tim for menacing their little girls. Mrowl.
    • Also, in three-part episode "Totally Busted", it was revealed that the protagonist crazy skills came from having a special set of "spy genes" which they inherited from their mothers. As the episode progressed the Spies were brainwashed and their mothers are recruited to save them. This result in Mama Bears in Catsuits
    • I Was Quite a Looker: The series finale reveals that Jerry's mom used to be quite a looker, resembling an old-school Bond Girl.
  • I Broke a Nail
  • Identity Amnesia: In "Totally Dunzo", when Mandy goes into shock after breaking a nail, she has a different personality when she regains consciousness. She still knows who she is. The only difference is she's now a nice person.
  • If You're So Evil, Step on That Rat
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Happens to Alex at least once, and to Clover, way too many times to count.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: Thanks for tipping us on the L.A.M.O.S. latest evil plot, Boogie Gus. (In "Like, So Totally Not Spies", IIRC; granted, the girls had forgotten they were ace secret agents, but did he really need to nearly spell everything out?)
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In both sides. Luckily it does not affect the protagonists...
  • International Coproduction
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: In the U.S., only twelve random episodes are on DVD. There are more on DVD in other countries, however.
  • Lampshade Hanging: "Is it me, or does the way we get Whooped sometimes defy the laws of physics?"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Too many times to count.
  • Latex Perfection
    • Taken to ridiculous lengths at the end of the Season 3 finale, "Evil Promotion Much?" After Terence is incarcerated, he rips off a mask revealing Jerry's face underneath. He then tells the guard watching him to release him with a very convincing acting. So is done. "Jerry" then knocks out the guard and tears off yet another mask which reveals that it was indeed Terence all along. In short, he was technically wearing his own face over a mask of Jerry with no prejudice to the features of "his own" face.
    • There's also the first half of "Escape from WOOHP Island" where Britney, while looking completely normal, was actually Willard in disguise. This was only found out when Clover's phony skin care products started melting "her" face. Granted, one of the girls notices that something's "different" about her, but you'd never have seen that coming.
  • Leitmotif: Anytime there's a beach or vacation setting, the same piece of music plays.
  • Life Drinker: The big bad is using some kind of magic stone to absorb youth from kids, resulting in this trope. As soon as aforementioned magic stone is destroyed, No Immortal Inertia is triggered.
  • Limited Social Circle: The only person Sam, Clover, and Alex regularly interact with at their school (outside the three of them), is Mandy. Any other classmate they were seen talking to would be gone by the next episode, never to be seen or mentioned again (except for maybe the occasional boyfriend that would last about 2 or 3 episodes). Possibly justified in that their lives as spies would realistically get in the way of them having normal social lives.
    • Also the character of Arnold an example of Nerds Are Sexy (although he's rarely treated as much more than repulsive in-episode).
  • Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with their spy jumpsuits, but Averted with their civilian outfits.
  • Luminescent Blush
  • The Men in Black: The WHOOP agents.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: At the end of the episode where Alex gets muscular after ingesting a muscle growth formula, her boyfriend of the week dumps her because he doesn't date girls more buff than him. She doesn't take that too well.
  • Mistaken for Badass: In "Evil Coffee Shop Much?", Jerry hires Mandy as a spy because he thinks she somehow snuck into WHOOP HQ when in actuality she was just accidentally WHOOP'd along with the main girls and fell behind the couch.
  • The Movie: A prequel released in (at least) French theaters in 2009. The movie recently aired on Cartoon Network.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: This show was particularly bad with this. In fact, one episode centered around a number of knockoffs of Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Britney Spears, etc., and the villain was Milan Stilton.
  • No Name Given
  • Now Do It Again Backwards: "WOOHPersize Me!". Mind control music played backwards negates the control.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Wanted criminal Tim Scam was able to pretty much take over WOOHP by using an alias that was literally just his name backwards. And he had it clearly written on a name badge just in case there was a slight chance no-one would figure it out.
  • Personality Swap: Done in the episode "Totally Switched". Clover's personality is swapped with Jerry's by use of a crazy psychologist's behavioral adjusting amulet.

 Clover: Oh... good heavens.

Jerry: No freakin' way!!

Sam: O.. kay, this is the weirdest moment ever.

  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Occasionally, a completely improbable situation pops up, demanding the use of a gadget that would be unused otherwise, or an otherwise useless gadget gets a highly unusual use (such as the super-spicy gum used by Alex that allowed her to sweat enough to slip tightly-tied ropes off her, despite the fact that she was still wearing her spysuit).
  • Power Trio:
  • The President's Daughter
  • Putting a Hand Over His Mouth: The spies do this to each other quite a bit.
  • Rapunzel Hair: In one episode, Clover was captured and her hair was grown really long to be used as a wig. Unfortunately, it made her very weak. The other girls even used the hair Rapunzel-style.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Moonbaby's "Here We Go".
  • Rearrange the Song: When the first season aired on Cartoon Network, it used an instrumental version of Moonbaby's "Here We Go".
  • Redshirt Army: Or rather, Black Suit Army. The lower-ranking WOOHP agents certainly qualify.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: GLADIS, despite not having a human body.
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Geraldine has one in the episode "Return of Geraldine".
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Though she was slightly inept, episode 2 has the queen of Lyrobia jumping into action along side Alex & Sam when Clover is kidnapped.
  • Rule of Cool: All the gadget Jerry gives the girls; the show would be nothing without it.
  • Rule 34: See the link in Abridged Series, above.
  • Running Gag: The U.P.W.A.T.I. underwater breathing suit. Whenever it pops up in the gadget roster, one of the girls always responds with "Up-whatie?"
  • Sauna of Death: The girls are locked in one by their brainwashed mothers.
  • Series Fauxnale: The third season finale "Evil Promotion Much", which was originally intended as the series finale.
  • Shallow Love Interest: A lot of the girls' Temporary Love Interests were this. At least Sam occasionally admired a guy for his brains.
  • Shapeshifting
  • Shoe Phone: Compact Phone, actually.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple times.
    • References to Sailor Moon are probably an inside joke, as at least one of the voice actors -- namely Katie Griffin, who plays Alex -- also voiced Raye in the early DiC-dubbed episodes of that show.
    • Charlie's Angels, when a villain impersonating Jerry accidentally calls Alex "Farrah".
    • WOOHP sounds suspiciously similar to WOOC(P), the employer of the protagonist of The Ipcress File and other Len Deighton novels.
    • There is a Shout-Out to Tsukasa Hojo's Cat's Eye in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. More precisely, the tomboyish brunette Action Girl with a yellow Spy Catsuit Alex is an Expy for Ai Kisugi, the youngest of the three sisters. It's much easier for the French viewers to figure it out, since Ai was named Alex (short for Alexia) in the French dub. It also helps that Cat's Eye was broadcast multiple times on French public channels in the '80s (and well beloved). And yes, it was displayed on kids programs. Which the creators of the show grew up watching. Explains a lot, doesn't it?
    • Also, whenever the girls are shown playing soccer, the animation draws much inspiration from Captain Tsubasa, from the balls taking on an oval shape after being kicked, all the way the ball spinning in the goalkeeper's hands until his gloves are fizzled out. Especially if Alex (who is a professed soccer fan, as per "Spy Soccer") is involved.
    • In the episode "Miss Spirit Fingers", Alex and Clover have a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment where they crash into a Pulp Fiction poster.
    • Jerry's Matrix-style jump to the helicopter in the episode "A Spy Is Born (part II)".
    • And there's another possible Matrix reference in the series 2 episode "It's How You Play the Game" with the wriggly silverfish robots used to infect people's minds by the Big Bad. They go in through the ear, though, not the belly button.
    • Oooh! And the James Bond crotch-laser in the episode "Starstruck".
    • Also when Jerry's mother, in a flashback, rises from the sea in an orange bikini with a white belt.
    • King Kong, when the gorilla climbs up a skyscraper with Alex on its back in the episode "Animal World".
    • Averted with GLADIS. Despite what many would think, this show's GLADIS actually came first.
    • Also, GLADIS' main interface looks a lot like Shirka from Ulysses 31.
    • Margie from "Brain Drain" shouts "NO WIRE HANGERS!"
  • Shut UP, Hannibal
  • Sleep Cute: Between the three leads. Really.
  • Something Completely Different: "Matchmaker" is one of the few episodes not to feature Jerry summoning the girls to WOOHP for a new mission. It's also one of the few where Clover solo has to save the day.
  • Spin-Off: The Amazing Spiez, which is more like a continuation of TS with a younger cast. Sam, Clover, and Alex make an appearance in one episode.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Sam, Clover, and Alex, the latter being a straight-up example.
  • Spy Catsuit
  • Status Quo Is God
  • Sticky Situation: In a couple of episodes. "Creepy Crawly Much" in particular.
  • Stock Footage: A pan of the crowd applauding and cheering in "Black Widows" is repeated quite a few times during the episode.
  • Super-Deformed: e.g. Martin Mystery (for which this is much more common) in "Totally Mystery Much?".
  • The Sweat Drop
  • The Tag: Starting in Season 3, Sam addressed the viewer during the closing credits, often talking about something related to the theme or events of the episode.
  • Teen Superspy
  • Temporary Love Interest: Practically every episode gives at least one of the girls one. And every time one of them actually gets with a guy they're right back to being single by the next episode due to one of the following reasons:
    • He turned out to be a villain.
    • He dumped her or she dumped him for some superficial reason (or not).
    • Snap Back.
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Clover along with a great number of others put on several hundred pounds over the course of a few days from eating Passion Patties.
    • Scratch that. Clover and Jerry put on that much over the course of a day!
      • Bittersweet put on that much in a few seconds after being forceFeed her concentrated additive.
  • The Three Faces of Eve
  • Time Travel: By now about 3 different methods are readily available to the team.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: In one of the early episodes the girls are sent back in time to the dark ages. Clover is, at least for a little bit, able to hail Jerry on her communicator despite him not being born for hundreds of years.
  • Title Montage
  • Title Please: Only during Season 1. Season 2+ featured the name of the episode superimposed over the Totally Spies! logo.
  • Token Minority: Britney and Caitlin.
  • Valley Girl: Like, duh.
  • We've Got Company: Said more than once.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle